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The following list contains lecture material and lab manuals that are used in both the teacher and student summer workshops. A brief description of each item is included. The lectures are meant as introductory material to pulp and paper science for those unacquainted with the area. The lab manuals describe experiments and activities that are suitable for teachers of any grade class to perform as classroom demonstrations. All of the experiments can be performed by high school students under the supervision of an adult. Some of the experiments involve chemicals and/or other hazards (such as a blender) in which the appropriate safety measures should be taken. Please contact Richard Venditti for questions about any of this material. For help on the following file formats, click here.


A Week in the Life of a Scientist (Zip File) – This presentation describes real life, day-to-day, experiences working as a process engineer.

Fiber Supply Issues – This presentation discusses the relative advantages of using wood to make paper versus other non-wood materials such as agricultural wastes.

Forests to Fibers (Zip File) – This presentation introduces the student to forestry in the U. S. and the structure and chemistry of wood.

Fundamentals of Flotation (Zip File) – This presentation contains a detailed discussion on the theory of flotation deinking, the removal of ink by floating with air bubbles. This presentation is useful for a student that already has reviewed the Recycling Lecture and wants to learn more about the science of flotation deinking as a background for potential laboratory experiments.

How Image Analysis Works (Zip File) – This presentation describes how automatic image analysis (the use of an image scanner and computer) detects contaminants in paper and other materials.

Major Pulp Tests (Zip File) –  This presentation briefly describes the major chemical tests used to evaluate the quality of pulp for papermaking.

Material Balances (Zip File) – This presentation introduces the student to the use of material balances, a method to account for inputs and outputs of components in a process. This is a fundamental tool used by chemical engineers and other process engineers.

Papermaking (Zip File) – This presentation describes and explains the major steps involved in the manufacturing of paper from pulp. It also discusses the history of papermaking.

Pulping Operations (Zip File) – This presentation explains the process of breaking down wood chemically (commonly called pulping) to produce a slurry of individual fibers (commonly called pulp) which will later be used to make paper. It also discusses the bleaching of pulp, environmental impacts of pulping and bleaching, and the concept of the chemical kinetic rate of relations.

Recycling Environmental Issues (Zip File) – This presentation explores the environmental issues regarding paper recycling and how technological improvements in the paper recycling arena could impact the industrial solid waste issue.

Recycling Lecture (Zip File) – This presentation describes the major paper recycling sub-operations and how they are put together to make a recycling process. It also describes the paper reycling market including the percentage of paper that is recycled and what types of recovered paper are used for recycled paper products.

The Strength of Paper (Zip File) – This presentation discusses the importance of paper strength in our day-to-day lives. It shows how hydrogen bonding is responsible for the strength and the recyclability of paper. It also describes the theory behind the measurement/calculation of the tensile strength of paper. This lecture is useful as background material for the Testing Paper Strength Lab exercise.

Dioxin and the Paper Industry (Zip File) – This file discusses an environmental water issue that was overcome by the paper industry. It demonstrates how new technology can be used to solve environmental problems so that manufacturing industries can still meet the demands of our society.


Paper Product Design Activity

Egg Drop (Zip File) – This lab encourages students to creatively design a container that will protect an egg from dropping three floors using only poster board, tape, and scissors.

Papermaking Labs

Detailed Handsheet Procedure (PDF file) (Word Document) – This 21-page document explains in detail the procedure for making handsheets from the non-wood pulp produced in the Pulping Labs listed below. It describes the refining process and procedure using a blender of virgin pulps. It also has suggestions for further projects in papermaking. The handsheet mold used in this lab can be obtained by contacting NCSU.

General Brief Handsheet Procedure (PDF file) (Word Document) – This 4-page document explains in a simple manner how to make a handsheet for further display or testing. This procedure does not include the refining process. The handsheet mold used in this lab can be obtained by contacting NCSU.

Testing Paper Strength (PDF file) – This five-page lab demonstrates how to perform a simple experiment to determine the strength of paper. Simple materials are needed to perform this test quantitatively: plastic bucket, duct tape, pennies or similar items, scissors, ruler. Paper strength can be tested on copy paper, newsprint, recycled handsheets, handsheets from virgin pulps, etc.

Paper Handsheet Mold (PDF file) (Word Document) – This file contains materials and dimensions useful in building your own handsheet mold.

Pulping Labs

Detailed Pulping Procedure (PDF file) (Word Document) – This 36-page document explains in depth the pulping procedure. It also includes the steps for pulping non-wood materials such as agricultural waste into fibers and then bleaching this pulp. This is a good background for the Simplified Pulp Procedure and the Simplified Bleaching Procedure.

Pulping Lab Data Sheet (PDF file) (Word Document) – This one-page data and observation sheet should be used with the bleaching lab.

Bleaching Lab Data Sheet (PDF file) (Word Document) – This one-page data and observation sheet should be used with the pulping lab.

Simplified Bleaching Procedure (PDF file) (Word Document) – This one-page lab describes the major steps for the laboratory bleaching of pulp. The Detailed Pulping Procedure should be read prior to using this simplified procedure.

Simplified Pulp Procedure (PDF file) (Word Document) – This two-page lab describes a shortened version of the Detailed Pulping Procedure. This simplified procedure is convenient to use in a laboratory setting. The Detailed Pulping Procedure should be read prior to using this simplified procedure.

Recycling Labs

Wash Deinking of Newsprint (PDF file) (Word Document) – This experiment demonstrates the washing deinking operation and allows the student to explore operating variables that may affect the washing performance.

Bleach Recycled Pulp (PDF file) (Word Document) – This three-page lab describes how to bleach recycled pulp in a 10-step process. Common household bleach is used. Questions and further experiments are also included.

Dirt Counting (PDF file) (Word Document) – This six-page lab demonstrates how to perform a manual dirt count to evaluate the contaminant level in a paper sample and also includes additional activities.

Flotation Deinking (PDF file) (Word Document) – This six-page document contains a lab outlining the procedures for flotation deinking of waste paper. The major pieces of equipment needed are a kitchen blender and a fish aquarium air pump. It also includes questions and further experiments.

Handsheet Making from Recycled Pulp (PDF file) (Word Document) – This four-page document explains in a 20-step process how to make handsheets from recycled fibers. The handsheet mold used in this lab can be obtained by contacting NCSU. It is the same file as the General Brief Handsheet Procedure found in the papermaking labs described above.

Screening Recycled Pulp (PDF file) (Word Document) – This four-page document describes how to perform, in the laboratory using a blender and a kitchen colander, coarse screening of recycled fiber to remove large contaminants such as plastic film. The lab also demonstrates how to calculate the yield of a recycling process and demonstrates that the paper recycling process itself generates a significant waste stream. Questions and further experiments are listed at the end of the lab.

Advanced Bleaching of Recycled Pulp (Zip File) – his presentation provides the framework for understanding and developing an advanced bleaching lab.